Colts Coach Jim Caldwell on Late-Game Timeout: 'We're Pretty Aggressive'
Caldwell, in his second season as the Colts' coach, has been criticized by some in the wake of a 31-28 loss to Jacksonville Sunday for calling a timeout on the Jaguars' game-winning, fourth-quarter drive.
The play in question came with 36 seconds remaining.
Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew had just run for an 8-yard gain, and with Jacksonville facing second-and-2 from its 31, Caldwell used the first of the Colts' three timeouts.
Jaguars quarterback David Garrard threw incomplete on the ensuing play, then converted third-and-2 with a 6-yard pass to Tiquan Underwood.
With 14 seconds remaining, Garrard threw 22 yards to Underwood to give the Jaguars a 1st-and-10 at the Colts 41. Garrard's next pass was nearly intercepted by Colts cornerback Kelvin Hayden, and with five seconds -- and a timeout -- remaining, Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee kicked a 59-yard field goal as time expired.
It was the third-longest field goal to win a game on the final play in NFL history, and observers afterward questioned Caldwell stopping the clock to give the Jaguars time on the drive.
Caldwell on Monday explained the reasoning:
"What we look at is this: you never know if you're going to get the ball back in those situations. The big thing we try to look at is if we can get the ball back for our offense. Particularly if we're on the road, we don't necessarily want to go into overtime. If we can win in regulation, we want to give it a shot.
"The timeout in that situation ended up being probably about what we thought it would be. We wanted to make sure we had a third-down situation where if they didn't make it they had to punt the ball. It was there. We had opportunities there that last drive to get the ball back, but we didn't do it.
"You always reflect. You always think back. You always look at yourself first in terms of what you would do differently to try to learn from it, but we're pretty aggressive in those areas."